YU hosts ‘We Stand With India – A Meeting of Solidarity’ Virtual Event


April 30, 2021

“We are all in the same storm, drenched by the same crashing waves, but in different boats – for some not a question of three sheets to the wind or riding out the storm with minimum damage, but surviving its battering.”

The sentiment of those words, written by Indian journalist Bikram Vohra during the first wave of the deadly COVID-19 pandemic a year ago, took centre stage during Yorkville University’s We Stand With India – A Meeting of Solidarity event.

“That storm is raging once again in India, and we watch with great sadness, feeling powerless, but wanting to help to ensure people know that they are not alone,” Dr. Deirdre Pickerell, Yorkville’s Dean of Student Success, said during the hour-long event, which brought together students, faculty and staff in a show of solidarity with those impacted by the current state of COVID-19 in India. 

“As you are learning today, our Yorkville University and Toronto Film School community stands united, a beacon of light shining in these very dark times. We hope our efforts today and beyond help you feel connected and supported – a safe harbor as this storm rages on.” 

Hosted by Yorkville’s Student Life Coordinator, Ali NoorWe Stand With India heard vows of support from all corners of the university’s senior leadership, including Walter Lee, Senior Vice President of Marketing and Enrolment.  

In addition to committing Yorkville’s support to all students impacted by the pandemic in India, Lee also announced Yorkville University’s pledge of $50,000 to a Securing Oxygen for India GoFundMe campaign. 

“We are taking some concrete steps in an offer of support. Our friends at ApplyBoard have put together a GoFundMe campaign to give support to people who are suffering in India, and we’ve contributed to that campaign,” he said, encouraging everyone in the wider Yorkville community to donate what they can to the cause here.

All funds raised through the campaign will be used to immediately purchase oxygen concentrators for distribution to those most in need in India. ApplyBoard is working with suppliers now towards the purchase and shipment of concentrators to their team on the ground as soon as possible.

Yorkville President Dr. Rick Davey was also on hand during the We Stand With India event to offer words of support for students. 

“This is not an event that I wish were happening is the reality of it. But we want all of our students who are either in India or here in Canada now, to know that you are part of our community,” he said. 

“We suffer with you. We stand with you. And we want to support you in every way we can.”

– Dr. Rick Davey, President of Yorkville University

Another one of the ways Yorkville is putting those words of support into action is through a series of upcoming workshops and drop-in sessions centred around helping students impacted by the pandemic to develop coping skills. 

“This workshop is an important opportunity to join members of your school community to learn strategies to help you get through this dark time and an opportunity to be supported and to offer support in return,” explained Pickerell, noting that students can learn more about the workshop on the Student Success Centre page at https://success.yorkvilleu.ca/.

Additionally, Pickerell said the drop-in sessions will give students the opportunity to talk privately or in small groups to access any help or supports they need.

“We recognize that it can seem quite awkward to ask for help, and perhaps not what you generally do. Perhaps consider that these times require new strategies and a leap of faith,” she said. 

“Connecting with others does help, and your Yorkville and University and Toronto Film School family are here for you – we are praying for you, we are watching with horror to what is happening in India, and we can only hope that it will be over soon and once again, the light will shine.”

Upcoming Workshops and Drop-In Sessions:

Tools for Coping During COVID – A workshop for those impacted by the current state of COVID in India 

This session will allow students the opportunity to come together with their peers to discuss different stressors they may be experiencing as they navigate the effects of the pandemic while completing their studies. The facilitators will help guide students in exploring different thoughts and feelings surrounding topics (stress, anxiety, loss, homesickness) that may be impacting them at this time. The session will include a combination of psychoeducation and interactive activities.

Date: Tuesday, May 4

Time: 11 AM (EST) / 8 AM (PST)

Click Here to Attend

Peer-to-Peer Guided Session for International Students

Date: Wednesday, May 5

Time: 12 PM (EST) / 9 AM (PST) 

Click Here to Attend

Passcode: 838231

Peer-to-Peer Guided Session for International Students

Date: Thursday, May 6

Time: 3 PM (EST) / 12 PM (PST) 

Click Here to Attend